My favorite thing about Christmas decorations are lights. I could exist the entire month of December with just little white lights to shine each night. Today the first surprise in our stocking revealed that we were getting a Christmas tree today! We have traipsed many a farm, and though that may be in our future again, we tend to stick to Produce Junction, where the trees are inexpensive and hardly ever drop their needles. Our top farm-traipsing trip had to be in California when we chopped down, and very carefully drove home, a 17-ft Christmas tree. The second best year was when I went with a friend and our (then) four kids and we were chosen to get a free tree. I picked out as big a tree as we could manage, and basked in the fact that it was a gift. I love big trees, and maybe one year we’ll have another huge tree with a thousand lights, but this year I really like the one we have. Before we could decorate it, we pulled out all our strings of lights. Dead. Or half-dead, which is as good as dead. So, off Elsie and I traipsed (see, we got our traipsing in after all!) to get some more lights.
The first thing we do is string the lights. At the beginning God expressed himself. That personal expression, that word, was with God, and was God, and he existed with God from the beginning… In him appeared life and this life was the light of mankind.
Of course when it came time to hang up my banister lights, the same thing happened. Half-lit strands. I finagled big time, and made it work without traipsing this time. The light still shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out.
Then amid all this joy, a despondency overwhelmed my spirit. I think it was the end of a long, draining week, finally catching up to me. I think it was the sight of my woolly husband, so kindly offering to make me oven-fried chicken because that is what I was craving. (No, I’m not pregnant). I think it was the beauty of so many white lights. I know it was the realization that no matter how I feel, Emmanuel, God with us, was there. Sadness at my human-ness and short-comings, blended together with the awe and joy of God with us, then mingled with my salty tears. So the word of God became a human being and lived among us. We saw his splendour (the splendour as of a father’s only son), full of grace and truth.